The Ashes 2013

Not long now till the start of the first test.

As an Australian, I can’t help feeling a lot more positive about this than I was a few weeks ago, although I’m extremely sceptical that Darren Lehman will make much difference to on-field performances in the short-term.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Chris Rogers opening.
  • Haddin/Warner partnerships saving us after middle-order collapses.
  • Root and Bairstow as the weak links in England’s batting lineup.

Things I don’t like:

  • Watson’s belief that his lack of form has been entirely due to Mickey Arthur’s coaching style and now all his problems have gone away.
  • The feeling that I’m going to regret saying that Root and Bairstow are England’s weak links.

Things I’m terrified of:

  • Alastair Cook
  • Kevin Pietersen
  • Michael Clarke’s back
  • The duel between Graeme Swan and Nathan Lyon

I predict that Australia will lose a close series due to England dominating in two or three key sessions but will then regain the Ashes in six months’ time.

There was an interesting article this morning in the australian comparing the Australian team to Border’s 89 side. I can’t see it, myself. Clarke will probably retire with borderesque figures, but I can’t see a Taylor or a Boon, let alone a Steve Waugh in that side. Clarke also doesn’t have the sheer force of will that AB had.

I think the OP may well be wrong about Root, but I have yet to be convinced by Bairstow. I’d have preferred Bairstow making way for KP, rather than Compton. But it does mean Somerset have him for the summer, so that’s good too!
Also, Lehmann is an excellent cricketer - I was always amazed he never got a run in the Australian side, but they had their full of amazing cricketers at the time. We’ll see how he gets on.

I shall watch the Ashes (since they are always an intense contest.)

However the bookies reckon England are about 2/5 on to win, Australia about 5/1 to win and around 6/1 for the draw.

As an Aussie I think I am far more terrified of Jimmy Anderson. He’ll probably turn out to be awesome at sledging too now that he’s decided to take it up.

At least he is realistic. "I won’t pretend that what I say is either witty or intelligent or thoughtful - it’s just something that comes out. If that sort of thing comes naturally to you then you should try and channel it, use it to your advantage. If it doesn’t come naturally then you can look very stupid."

27 Tests, 1,798 runs @ 44.95 with 5 centuries.
Not a bad career, but a bare reflection of his First Class record (25,628 runs @ 57.6)

Yeah, much as I liked Lehmann he was quite the dud as a Test batsman. He largely only ever got runs if it didn’t really matter. His 5 test centuries:

160 against the West Indies. Ponting got 206, Gilchrist 101 and they declared at 4/576.

110 against the mighty Bangladesh. Steve Waugh got 100 and they declared at 7/407 chasing Bangladesh’s 97.

177 in the next “Test” against Bangladesh. Steve Waugh 156*, Martin Love 100* and we declared at 4/556. Of course we won by an innings again.

129 vs Sri Lanka when he came in at 3/245. Hayden 130, Martyn 110 and we declared at 8/512. Shane Warne then took 5/43.

His one great innings was the last test of that series. He came in at 3/96 and scored 153 to be last man out at 401. Had he failed Australia would probably have lost this test.

After that he played another 9 tests averaging less than 30.

But I think he’ll turn out to be great in his new role.

Agree with this, Root has taken to international cricket so well, all forms of the game too. He has plenty of experience opening for Yorkshire, the Cook-Root partnership could end up getting an awful lot of runs for England over the next few years.

I think Oz - in particular, the bowling attack - are a lot better than they are being cracked up to be, and that this is going to be a closer series than might have been expected. I’d have been a lot happier if Arthur was still in charge to be honest. I think Lehmann could be a really good appointment. He always struck me as a thoughtful cricketer.

The difference might well be the spin department. It’s been really dry up here and the weather is still really warm; it’s projected to be so for a month or so. If the pitches turn a bit dusty and start taking spin, England, you’d think would have the advantage. Still, Australia have selected Ashton Agar in their side today - 19 year old out of nowhere - you never know, he could be about to make it very interesting.

England win toss and choose to bat. Australia will have a chance as it is a little bit overcast and Trent Bridge traditionally offers swing - there should be an opportunity to get into England early and it will be sunny for the following two days, so it should be easier to bat on days 2 and 3 than first thing this morning as the wicket flattens out a bit.

England are: Cook ©, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior (wk), Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn

Australia are: Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke ©, Hughes, Smith, Haddin (wk), Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Agar.

The first session just finished and England are two wickets down only so I’d have to rate them somewhat ahead. Trott looking very dangerous. Australian bowlers not looking terribly threatening, and bowling at leg stump (or even down leg side!) far, far too often.

4 down now have to say Australia slightly on top at the moment though if we don’t lose another wicket by the close all square I would think.

Cook and KP will both be very disappointed with their dismissals. Root got a cracker of a ball from Siddle.

England losing wickets to bad bowling, really. Especially Trott. Still, Bell knows what he’s doing and Bairstow is looking solid enough at the moment - I’ll be a lot happier as an England supporter if these two can see out until tea. I think 350 might be a good score on this pitch.

Too over confident. That’s what the verdict seems to be wrt England bats.

215 all out doesn’t seem like enough but this is cricket, you can’t really tell until both sides have had a bat.

Watson gone early for the Aussies.

Well that might have changed a bit now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Blimey! Australia 25-3 and a very close hat-trick ball for Finn. What a day of cricket!

That settles it. The groundsmen are Royal Engineers sqaud in disguise and they laid mines in the pitch during the changeover.

53/4. The top order gone. Thing might be over in three day.

There is still a bit to go in this game and, you never know, the Aussie’s lower middle order and tail might haul them up to a decent/competitive total.

All that said, England’s bowlers, in English conditions, are damn good. Preparation of result wickets will always give England a chance because the bowlers can get something out of them. I would prefer it if our bats were a bit less profligate though. Some of the wickets given away by the top order today were fairly airy fairy. I think only Root got what I would call a good delivery. Everyone else was, to varying degrees, culpable.

This Smith fellows seems to have a policy of counter attacking. I like him. Never seen him before. Impressive.
Michael Holding is singing his praises.